Devouredby Amanda Marrone
Megan has been haunted by the ghost of her twin sister, Remy, since the accident nine years ago. Megan doesn’t want anyone to think she’s crazy, so she keeps this little “talent” to herself. But when she meets Luke at her summer job and discovers he can see ghosts too, she’s thrilled. Finally, someone who can relate...and, even better, can possibly help Remy move on. Megan’s not even worried about the fact that Luke’s supercute and nice, because of course she’s totally into her boyfriend (even though he’s been spending way too much time with another girl). And she definitely didn’t mean to kiss Luke (especially since her friend has a thing for him). Messy much?
But when the visions Remy haunts Megan with get crazy violent, Megan must turn to Luke to figure out what her twin is trying to say. Because someone’s definitely in danger...she’s just not sure who.
Finding inspiration in classic fairy tales, Marrone (Revealers) crafts a creepy and thoroughly captivating story of love and jealousy. Megan takes a summer job at Land of Enchantment, the local fairy tale—themed amusement park, to keep an eye on her boyfriend. Playing Snow White isn't bad, despite the weird and excessively cheery family that runs the park. In fact, it could almost be a normal teenage summer for Megan, including being attracted to hunky artist Luke, except for the fact that she has been haunted by the ghost of her dead twin, Remy, for the past 10 years. Remy is upset by Megan's working at the park, and she starts warning Megan of bad things to come, showing her horrifying visions, and even talking to Luke ("It's no big deal really. I'm kind of a ghost magnet—runs in the family," he says). Marrone takes the typically complicated geometry of young love (interconnected crushes and professions of love abound) and follows the threads through an eerie mystery that readers should gobble up even while it gives them shivers. Ages 14—up. (Sept.)
Read an Excerpt
Nicki rounds the corner fast, and I clutch the armrest tightly. I take a deep breath and see her look my way.
"Oh God, sorry," she says as she takes her foot off the gas pedal and presses on the brake. "I get carried away on this stretch."
I look out at the river hugging the road and will myself to take in the gorgeous White Mountains scenery instead of imagining the car skidding off into the water. "Hey, no problem," I lie. "And thanks for driving me. Figures my mom has one of her stupid dog things the day I get the interview. She and Fergus have a new routine, and this is the first time they're performing it."
Nicki laughs. "How could she retire the 'Toxic' number? That was a showstopper!"
"Ha, ha, funny."
Of course my mom dancing with our golden retriever in front of an audience, and then posting the videos on the Internet is anything but funny. "Anyway, I swear I'll do all the driving when I get my license."
"Don't worry about it, Megan."
"Seriously! I'm gonna do it this time. I signed up for lessons with this new driving school that just opened."
Nicki pushes her long bangs out of her eyes. "I believe you."
I know she's really thinking I'll chicken out like always, but I'm grateful she doesn't say it out loud. She knows that despite the years of therapy, riding in a car still freaks me out.
She takes the turn onto Enchanted Boulevard like a ninety-two-year-old grandmother would, and I point to an office building near the entrance to the park. "The interview is over there."
She pulls into the nearly empty parking lot, which will be jam-packed in a week. "Are you sure you really want to do this?" she asks.
I stare up at the Land of Enchantment sign. Smiling princesses and overly cute forests animals wave their animatronic arms. Even as a kid I wasn't crazy about coming here all that much the crowds, the two-minute rides that never seemed worth the long wait to get on them. But Remy loved everything about Land of Enchantment, and Dad used to say he'd never seen a pair of twins look at the world so differently.
A small shudder wracks my body. It's been ten years since Remy died, and ten long years of being haunted by her ghost. Coming here is just asking for her to pop up, and I'm wondering if I can pull off an interview with Remy's ghost babbling in the background. I'm very tempted to tell Nicki to put the car in reverse and go home.
But I don't.
"I was getting sick of the bookstore," I lie. "Ever since Diane got promoted to manager, she's been a total bitch. And this way I'll be outside getting a tan instead of spending another summer paler than a vampire."
Nicki shakes her head. "This has nothing to do with getting a tan and you know it. I've kept my mouth shut so far, but to be honest, getting a job here because you're afraid to leave Ryan and Samantha alone is kind of stalkery."
"Stalkery? Since when did wanting to spend time with your boyfriend become stalking?"
Nicki gives me an incredulous look.
"Okay! The thought of him and Samantha working together has been driving me nuts, but can you blame me? She's been his best friend since second grade, and we've only been going out for three weeks and two days."
"This is so not like you! Where's the Megan who'd never chase a guy she just started seeing? Who'd never in a million years stay with said guy if she didn't trust him?"
I stare up at the prince on the sign, climbing Rapunzel's long braid. "That Megan was tired of not having had a relationship since freshman year. And that Megan was confident things were strictly platonic between them until Samantha made one too many trips to the keg and made her 'soul mate' confession. Not to mention the fact that she's totally gorgeous and nice. How can I compete with that?"
"Yeah, that was real nice of her to make a play for Ryan while you were in the bathroom. But despite her drunken confession, he's still with you, so what are you worried about?"
I shrug my shoulders. "I don't know. I just wish he hadn't told me about it."
"He was being honest with you, and if you ask me, that's a good sign."
"Or maybe he was laying the groundwork for our breakup so it won't come as a big shock when he tells me he's finally realized the girl of his dreams was living right next door all along."
Nicki shakes her head and takes out her iPod. "Good luck. Hope they assign you to something cool like the hot dog cart. Or if you make a really great impression, maybe they'll give you one of those little brooms and dustpans with the long handles, and you can sweep trash from the walkways."
"Actually it's always been a dream of mine to work the slushy machine, but what I'm really looking forward to is spending the summer endlessly repeating 'Welcome to the Gingerbread Coaster, please keep your hands inside the car until the ride comes to a complete stop.' "
Nicki puts the earbuds in. "I'm gonna listen to some songs; the tryouts are tomorrow and I still haven't decided what to sing." She turns the volume up and I can hear "Defying Gravity" from Wicked. "Working at any of the fast-food joints on the outlet strip would be better than this," she says loudly.
I pick up my purse and tell myself I'm above spying on my boyfriend. But then I think about how being with Ryan makes me feel more alive than I have in years, and I open the door and head for the park offices.
I sit in front of Mr. Roy and put on the best I-would-so-be- an-asset-to-your-amusement-park smile I can muster. Looking at his Cinderella tie, I have a feeling he'll be a pushover.
"So..." He glances down at my application. "Megan, why do you want to work at Land of Enchantment?"
Telling him I've turned into a stalker because good-girl Samantha morphed into a man-stealing bitch is probably not the best approach, so I straighten up, look into his washed-out gray eyes, and lie. "I've loved the Land of Enchantment since I was a little girl, and nothing would make me happier than the opportunity to put a little magic into some kid's summer vacation."
I smile harder and hope I didn't lay it on too thick.
Mr. Roy tilts his head and beams. He clasps his hands under his chin. "Is there a special memory of the park you could share with me? I always love hearing how we've affected people; it's what keeps me going when the day-today operation details get overwhelming."
Oh, God, what to pick? Toddler throwing up on the teacup ride? Third-degree sunburns from standing in endless lines? Eating warm egg-salad sandwiches because my parents were too cheap to buy lunch at the park?
"Um, well, I remember this one time, I think I was maybe five, and I was scared to go into Hansel and Gretel's Haunted Forest, and then someone tapped my shoulder. I turned around and there was, uh..." My mind scrambles to come up with something plausible. "Uh, there was Snow White. She held out her white-gloved hand and said, 'Don't worry, sweetie; I'll go in with you.' With Snow White by my side, I knew I could do it, and to this day Hansel and Gretel's Haunted Forest is one of my favorite attractions."
Mr. Roy looks teary, and it's all I can do to keep from rolling my eyes. Hansel and Gretel's had to be the lamest thing here half the animatronics were broken, and the scariest thing about it was that the fact anyone actually paid money to see it.
"Well, Megan, I think we have a spot on our enchanted team for a special girl like you. I see you've checked off ride operations, gift shop, and character actor on your application. I'd bet a bundle you were hoping to fill Snow White's gloves yourself, am I right?" He leans toward me and winks.
Don't-roll-eyes! "Yes, sir, 'Snow White' is one of my favorite stories, and it would be so much fun to play her."
"What a coincidence. 'Snow White' is one of my favorite stories, too. And with your dark hair, you'll be perfect! Unfortunately, you can't be Snow White every day; we try to mix up our team member's experiences so everyone gets a better feel for the park, and we can find those special kids who turn their Land of Enchantment summer jobs into a life-long career. After all, you'd never know whether you have the makings of our future Fun Farm manager if you don't get to spend some time in the Billy Goats Gruff pen which we go to great lengths to keep clean."
I smile like this is a wonderful opportunity, all the while praying to God I won't be shoveling crap all summer.
"Your next step is to meet our team coordinator my wife, Miss Patty."
He winks at me, and I will myself to keep the wide-eyed smiley expression plastered on my face.
"She'll give you our orientation packet and training schedule, and get your size for the costume."
He picks up his phone and pushes a button. "Honey bear, I'm sending a new recruit down." He glances at my application again. "Megan Sones. You'll need to take her to the costume room for a Snow White fitting." He pauses and smiles at me. "She's perfect." He hangs up and pushes his chair away from his desk. "Patty's office is just around the corner. I'll point you in the right direction."
I look around at Miss Patty and her office and I'm thinking she has some unresolved issues that a few years of therapy might make a dent in. The walls of her office are bright pink and adorned with portraits of princesses with oversize lightbulb-shaped heads rendered in Day-Glo pastels. patty is signed in huge six-inch letters in the bottom right corner of each one, and I wonder how she could've willingly signed her name to these atrocities. Completely out of place with the rest of the décor, a ratty stuffed boar head hangs gathering dust above an overly gilded mirror just behind her desk.
"Megan," Miss Patty says with a hint of a Southern drawl as she extends a well-manicured hand with rings on each finger. "It is such a pleasure to meet you! I'm Miss Patty, your enchanted team leader, and it's my job to get you ready for your enchanted summer!"
"Nice to meet you," I say, trying not to stare. High, pointed arcs have been drawn on her forehead way above where her eyebrows should've been, and one of her false eyelashes is crooked. Her face has a brown leathery look to it like she's spent way too much time in tanning booths and her curly blond hair extensions don't match the rest of her overly processed, thinning hair.
Miss Patty points to a pink polka-dotted chair and I sit. I look up at the boar's yellowed tusks and ratty fur and can't understand why this woman, who's obviously very concerned with her appearance and the color pink, would have something so totally gross in her office.
"Here's our introduction packet. It has the W-2's and emergency contact forms you'll need to fill out, plus general park information, shift times, and a training schedule. Do you know CPR?"
I nod, picturing myself performing CPR in the Snow White costume, and wonder if it's too late to run screaming from her office.
"Excellent!" She opens a folder and scribbles something on the paper inside. She looks up at me and flutters her thick eyelashes. "Oh, I would kill for a complexion like yours!"
I hear the door behind me open and turn to see a girl about my age with a thick white-blond ponytail and ice blue eyes. "Patty, Daddy said you had some things for me to file," she says.
Miss Patty frowns. "Ari, can't you see I'm with a new team member?"
Ari stares blankly at her. "I just need the paperwork and I'll be out of your way."
Miss Patty smiles again, but her eyes bulge slightly as if it's taking a great deal of effort to do so. "Megan, this is my daughter, Arianna."
"Hey," Ari says, and she gives me a look like she knows her mom is in serious need of some counseling and/or medication.
"Articulate as ever," Miss Patty mutters.
Ari rolls her eyes and I almost wish I were back with Mr. Roy.
"Nice to meet you," I say, trying to act like there isn't an incredible amount of tension smoldering in the air between Ari and Miss Patty.
"I'm not quite finished with the paperwork, Ari," Miss Patty says. "You'll have to do it tomorrow."
"But I've got auditions tomorrow."
Miss Patty lets out a long sigh. "Auditions are not all day long. Surely you'll find some spare time."
The phone rings, and Miss Patty holds up a finger to me. "Just a second, Megan, honey." She fluffs her hair with her hands, like whoever is on the other end might see her, and then picks up the receiver.
"Yes?" She takes a deep breath as her cheeks redden. "They were supposed to be here a week ago! How are we supposed to serve popcorn without bags? Look, hang on." She pushes a button on the phone. "Ari," she says sweetly. "Would you mind showing Megan where the costume room is and get her dress and shoe size on the Snow White clipboard?"
"Anything to help you out, Patty," Ari answers in the same syrupy tone.
Miss Patty picks up the phone again, and Ari tilts her head toward the door.
I take my information packet and follow her out.
"She's my stepmother," Ari says as soon as she closes the door. "She always forgets to add that part. She thinks just because she married my dad when I was like three that makes her my real mom." Air gives me a sly smile. "It drove her crazy when I started calling her Patty a couple of years ago."
"I'll bet," I say, thinking that if I had a stepmom like that, I might like to stick it to her once in a while too.
"Anyway, she's a complete nut job her new thing is shaving off her eyebrows so she can pencil them in. She thinks it makes her look like Pamela Anderson."
Knowing how it feels to have a mother who's slightly off, I decide to sacrifice my reputation in hopes of making her feel better. "Well my mom dances in competitions with my golden retriever."
Ari's eyes grow wide. "Seriously? She dances with your dog?"
"Yup! A fully choreographed, costumed routine. Google 'Fergus and Sally's Fantasy Freestyle' and you can see them in action for yourself. She's recently added footage of their new number, 'Hopelessly Devoted to You,' in which she's wearing a miniskirt she decorated with a BeDazzler."
Ari shakes her head in disbelief. "Wow! I guess both our moms are nutters, then."
I don't say anything and wonder if my mom was always 'nutters' or if it happened after the accident. No. I remember when she and I were close when she'd let me help her cook. I was Mom's little angel, but now now I'm nothing.
We walk down the hall, and I look at the old black-and-white photos of the park hanging on the walls. I'm actually impressed they were able to turn what looks like a glorified petting zoo and carousel into the halfway decent amusement park it is today.
Ari turns to me. "So you signed up for Snow White, huh? The bodice is itchy."
"You've been Snow White?"
Ari scoffs. "Patty makes me help out, but I draw the line at walking around the park in character. I've heard some of the girls complain about the costume, though. And here's a tip: If you're posing for a photo op with a family, try to keep the kids between you and the dad. Some of them are horn dogs who'll try to cop a feel while the flash is going off."
"Thanks for the warning," I say, thinking I should beg Diane to give me my job at the bookstore back.
We turn the corner and I gasp. Remy is standing at the end of the hallway, twirling one of her braids in her left hand. She waves. "Meggy," she calls out and starts walking toward us.
I turn to Ari, but she's rattling on about something to do with her stepmother and Botox, oblivious to the fact that my dead twin is heading our way.
I just knew she was going to show up here! Go away, Remy!
"I said this is it."
Ari is pointing to a door label YE OLDE COSTUME SHOPPE. "Oh. Sorry, I, uh, was just thinking about what you said about the dads."
"Don't worry too much about it. The really bad ones tend to gravitate toward the Bo Peep girls. Something about the petticoat or maybe it's the way they hold the staff that gets their shorts all aflutter."
I smile, but I'm really thinking I need to get out of here. I look past Ari, see the hallway is empty, and exhale. Hopefully Remy just appeared because she likes that I'm at the park, and not because she has something she wants me to see.
Ari opens the door and turns on the light. There are hundreds of brightly colored costumes hanging on rolling stands. "So," Ari says, looking me up and down. "Size six?"
"Eight," I say, wondering if she was just being nice. "And I'm eight in shoes too."
Ari heads to the Snow White rack and pulls out a costume. "Here it is, your golden ticket to playing friend of forest creatures and tiny little men!"
I groan. "Is it too late to cross 'character actor' off my application?" ' Ari laughs. "Despite the potential for being groped, wearing a costume is actually a hell of a lot better than being chained to a ride for hours on end. Except for some scheduled stops in the park, you can pretty much do whatever you want. And you're lucky your hair is black. You won't have to wear the wig, which I'd bet sucks when it's ninety degrees out." Ari hangs the costume back up. "Can you sing?"
"God, no! Do I have to?"
"No, but Patty's been talking about maybe having a character sing-along."
"Yeah, I think my voice would clear the park, but my best friend sings. She's in the White Mountain Chorus. Actually, she's waiting for me, so I should "
Ari's mouth drops open. "I'm in the chorus too! Well, I was last year, and I'm trying out again tomorrow. Who's your friend?"
"Nicki Summers, and like I said, she's waiting "
Ari claps her hands. "Oh my God, I know Nicki! She has an amazing voice; she kept beating me out for solos. I can't even believe they're making her try out. I mean, everyone knows she's gonna make it. So she's here?"
"Yeah, she's in the parking lot, but Nicki told me the old director left, so everyone's starting from scratch this year."
"Huh, I didn't know Mr. Sherman left. Of course he would've told Nicki they were tight." Ari starts stalking around the costume rack. "I'd love to find out what she's singing. Let me put your info on the clipboard, and then I'll go out with you." She shakes her head. "Damn, it's not here. Patty probably left it in the laundry room. Let me run down and see if I can find it. Hold on."
As soon as Ari leaves, the temperature in the room rapidly drops. "Remy," I say, my breath frosting in the air. "I don't want to play with you." The lights flicker and a cold sweat breaks out on my forehead.
"Meeeeggy." Her voice echoes in my head. "I have something to show you."
I back up toward the door, legs trembling, and scan the room for Remy. "I don't like the things you show me, Remy."
The door slams shut behind me and I jump. "Fine! What is it?" I yell, sounding braver than I feel. I learned long ago that trying to ignore Remy just pisses her off, and I should get this over with before she starts throwing things.
Remy appears by the Snow White rack. Water drips to the floor from the hem of her dress and the tips of her braids. She frowns and beckons to me with her small sevenyear-old hand. "Meggy, come see."
"What? The costumes?" I picture trying on clothes from the dress-up box Grammy gave us when we were five, and a tear rolls down my cheek. "I'm gonna play dress-up this summer, Remy as Snow White." I point to the costumes and hope I can divert her attention from whatever it is she wants to show me. "Do you wanna see me put one on?"
Remy nods and puts the end of one of her braids in her mouth, and I remember how Mom used to dip the tips in Tabasco sauce, trying to break her of the habit.
I walk slowly toward her, and she points to a costume in the middle of the rack.
As I reach out for the satin sleeve, Remy touches my arm. An icy chill runs through me, and the room disappears. I see a girl wearing a Snow White costume lying on the ground in a wooded area. It's dark, and I squint at the black stain on her bodice. I bend down and realize the bodice is unlaced, and while the blouse is soaked in what I think is blood, the darkest stain is actually a hole a hole in her chest cavity where her heart should've been.
"Be careful, Meggy," Remy whispers as everything goes black.
Copyright © 2009 by Amanda Marrone
Meet the Author
Amanda Marrone grew up on Long Island where she spent her time reading, drawing, watching insects, and suffering from an overactive imagination. She earned a BA in education at SUNY Cortland and taught fifth and sixth grade in New Hampshire. She now lives in Connecticut with her husband, Joe, and their two kids.
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I was first attracted to this by the cover, but from the first pages of the book i was impressed. I wasnt really sure how much i was going to like this book, but i ended up loving it. It wasnt what i expected, the summary does not do it justice; it actually leaves out one of the main aspects of the story. It is based sort of around Snow White. Now, I never really liked the story of Snow White, but the addition of it into this story was fantastic. It was very intense, darker than i expected, and kept me guessing until the very end. This makes me want to read more of Marrone's books.
I don't usually write reviews but I really rely on them when I am looking for my next book. I read 2-3 books a week so I am always looking. I am an adult who reads a lot of different genres but my favorite is young adult fiction. I thought this book was fantastic. It was clever, fast paced, and exciting. I also found parts of it to be scary and thrilling. The characters are great and there were so many turns I had no idea how it would turn out. The Snow White tie in was excellent. I really really reccomend this book to any fans of this genre. Its an easy read but its a very good read!
This book totally had me drawn into its story within a few pages. The setting of The Land of Enchantment theme park makes your mind think of Disneyland or someplace like that. The main character Megan Sones has been having visions of her dead sister for years, but lately the visions have been much more frequent and more bizzare. But Megan meets Luke, who can actually see her just like Megan can, and tries to help her. Along the way, the plot goes thru alot of crazy turns, but the romance between Megan and Luke is sweet to watch blossom. I will not give away the ending, but it certainly wasnt what I was expecting. This is a great book to keep you on the edge of your seat.
Ghosts..Love Triangles.. Land of Enchantment.. Oh My.. A retelling of Snow White with a Modern Twist.. I was a little unsure going into this book after some of the reviews I read but I'm glad I did.. The book kept my attention it kept me wanting more.. ?'ed it.. recommend..
I rarely write reviews but I must say this book is worth the time! Great story line with a twist. I could not put this book down! I really enjoyed it.
This was soo good... its a really twisted verison of snow white and they did it beautifully;)
This book is a must read.